The American Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law protecting the disabled was put in force in 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Discrimination is not allowed in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places enjoyed by the public by providing the disabled “reasonable accommodations” irrespectively of disability. For example, in the area of employment, reasonable accommodations are any modifications that help a covered person under the ADA to satisfy the essential job functions.
The essential purpose of the ADA is to allow people who are physically disabled to enter public buildings (via ramps, wide doors, large bathroom stalls, etc.) and to provide auditory and visual aids for those with visual and auditory impairments, as well as modified educational programs for the learning disabled. Internet websites were not contemplated by the ADA, and in 1990 there were no ADA accessibility rules for websites. Websites offer content and have not been considered to require modifications to comply with the ADA.
However, there are both linguistic and nonlinguistic elements of content that add to an understanding of such through the development of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG is prepared by a worldwide group of individuals and organizations. Standard guidelines are developed to make content accessible and meet the needs of website development by individuals, organizations, and governments internationally to place websites within the sphere of disability regulations. The focus on ADA compliance is on the elements of content such as:
a) perceivable issues,
b) operable issues involve the ability to navigate the website,
c) understandable issues to comprehend website content and
d) robust issues that test the strength and adaptability of the website to meet the linguistic needs of the disabled.
ADA is under the control of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Modifications of the WCAG guidelines are continually being upgraded. For example, the final rule of the WCAG 2.0 guideline was adopted in January 2017 and again in 2019. Initially, the WCAG guidelines were modified to update Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To be ADA compliant, you must adopt the final rules prepared by the WCAG and the DOJ enforces website accessibility. The fail-safe method to be compliant is to find sources that tutor one in how to analyze the complexities of website compliance or retain professionals that apply the technical ADA rules of website compliance.